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Explan why one human immunodeficiency virus test cannot definitely diagnose hiv?

5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Martin Raff
Internal Medicine - Infectious Disease
4 doctors agree

In brief: Good question

The HIV test to which you refer is an elisa assay which is quite sensitive but not as specific as the confirmatory western blot.
These measure the presence of antibodies to the HIV and these may take from 2 wks to several months to develop. If you run the test before the antibodies have appeared, it will be negative, only to change to positive once antibody formation has occurred.

In brief: Good question

The HIV test to which you refer is an elisa assay which is quite sensitive but not as specific as the confirmatory western blot.
These measure the presence of antibodies to the HIV and these may take from 2 wks to several months to develop. If you run the test before the antibodies have appeared, it will be negative, only to change to positive once antibody formation has occurred.
Dr. Martin Raff
Dr. Martin Raff
Thank
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